Multisport Achievement- Inducted 2015
Chris Koch devoted his life to inspiring people with and without disabilities, as well as pursuing his own athletic endeavors. He was born without arms and legs, and as a child, he played soccer, baseball, and golf. He snowboarded and skied on the Nakiska Kids ski team that performed at the 1988 Calgary Olympic Games. Through the years, he developed ways to adapt sporting equipment to meet his special needs. Recently, he took up wakeboarding, kayaking and surfing.
When not playing sports, Chris looked for other ways to become involved with them. He helped coach a number of community teams including hockey, baseball and volleyball, as well as filling the roles of statistician and announcer. He went on to study broadcast journalism at Mount Royal College.
Throughout his life, Chris has been an Ambassador-at-Large for CHAMP, the War Amps Child Amputee program. He embraced CHAMP’s “Winner’s Circle” philosophy – which encourages child amputees to accept their amputations and develop a positive approach to challenges. As a motivational speaker, he encouraged child amputees to pursue athletics and sport, or whatever endeavors they aspired to achieve.
Early on, Chris was inspired by former CFL football player Karl Hilzinger and adopted his motto, “It’s what’s left that counts.”
Chris states, “If a guy like me – missing arms and legs – can do it, anybody can do it.”
Chris participated in six documentaries produced by the War Amps showing how he tackled the sports of skiing, golfing and snowboarding. These shows were broadcast across the country and his combination of patience, persistence, determination and a will to succeed were an inspiration to many. He was also on a short film clip on the Oprah Winfrey Super Soul Sunday program. Chris shares his own message on the "Chris Koch - If I Can" website and on social media.
Chris hitch hiked across Canada in July 2018 – through the kindness of strangers – posting his experiences on his Facebook page and Twitter. CBC had a video segment on Chris when he finished his journey.
In August 2018, Chris competed in his sixth marathon on his long board and completed the Reykjavik Marathon in 4hrs,34min. In 2016, he competed in the Calgary Marathon.